Shafagat Takhautdinov registers a company on ‘Paradise Islands’
Ex-director general of Tatneft turns out to be the beneficiary of an offshore company on the Isle of Man
Transparency International organization, after the publication of Paradise Papers, probably, found foreign assets of the ex-head of Tatneft, Shafagat Takhautdinov. His namesake and native of Almetyevsk turned out to be the beneficiary of a company registered on the Isle of Man. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
Ilya Shumanov, deputy director general of Transparency International — Russia, informed about an offshore company of the former head of Tatneft on his page in Facebook. He writes about a connection of Shafagat Takhautdinov with Renstar Limited company registered on the Isle of Man (a British Crown possession). The company was established in March 2013; Takhautdinov — its ultimate beneficiary, Shumanov said to Realnoe Vremya.
According to him, when registering, Takhautdinov wrote the address: Tatarstan, the city of Almetyevsk, Beloglazova Street. To say ''exactly with one thousand percent'' that it is about the assistant to Tatarstan President is impossible, says the representative of Transparency International.
''Who it is about, we don't know,'' press secretary of Tatarstan President Eduard Khairullin responded to Realnoe Vremya. Anyway, Takhautdinov is a public assistant, so restrictions on ownership of foreign assets and business do not apply to him, he says.
Takhautdinov does not run Tatneft since November 2013, but included in its board of directors. He became non-staff assistant to President of Tatarstan for oil industry at the same time — in November of 2013. Until the autumn of 2014, Takhautdinov was a deputy of Tatarstan State Council of several convocations (on free basis). Now, according to SPARK-Interfax, he owns shares in several Russian companies.
We did not have a chance to talk with Takhautdinov. The press service of Tatneft informed us we couldn't comment on his behalf ,''We have many members of the board of directors.'' The company Igimsky Bor from Menzelinsk (Takhautdinov owns 34%) do not know how to contact him, ''We don't see him and do not know how to reach him.'' The phone of other several companies, co-owner of which he is, do not answer.
Offshore doesn't mean criminal
According to Shumanov, the jurisdiction of the Isle of Man is most often chosen by businessmen for tax evasion or for their optimization. ''From the point of view of offshore structures, this island is often used, for example, to register an aircraft with the aim of tax evasion on the territory of the European Union,'' says the representative of Transparency International.
Offshore companies can register here for tax evasion as well as to conceal the ultimate beneficiaries, but it is not the only and not their main function, says Emil Martirosyan, Associate Professor of business and managerial strategy at Ranepa. According to the report of the Organization for economic cooperation and development, about 40% of offshore companies with Russian roots are used not for tax evasion, but, for example, as a way to protect intellectual property.
''It is a stereotype that offshore is equal to criminal. In fact, the official Russian authorities today recognize about 44 offshore jurisdictions with which the Russian business is allowed to conduct transactions,'' Martirosyan said.
Wives of Sechin and Shuvalov and the Communists
In early November, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published the data from the archive of Bermuda law firms Appleby and Estera. The ICIJ received more than 13,000 documents that received the general name Paradise Papers.
The published data mentioned names of several Russians. In particular, from the archive, it became known that Marina Sechina, the ex-wife of the head of Rosneft, is the founder of the company S Holdings Ltd. on the Cayman Islands.
It also became known that the owner of Mail.ru Group, Alisher Usmanov, heading Gazprom Investholding, helped the fund of businessman Yuri Milner to buy shares of Twitter and Facebook. Representatives of Usmanov and Milner later stated that money of Russian companies were not used for these investments.
Vladimir Blotsky, State Duma Deputy from the Communist party, according to Paradise Papers, in 2006 was director of the Uruguayan firm Blackfil S.A. And Olga Shuvalova, the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, according to documents from the archive, appears to be the beneficiary of the company Altitude X3 Ltd. registered in Bermuda.